6 servings

Instead of soaking the chicken in a saltwater mixture to add flavor and juiciness, this grilled chicken recipe is brined in a mixture of buttermilk, shallots, and spices.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large bowl, mix buttermilk, shallots, garlic, salt, sugar, cumin, and pepper.

Step 2

Rinse chicken thighs and drumsticks and pat dry. Trim off excess fat. Submerge chicken pieces in buttermilk brine. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day (see notes).

Step 3

Lift chicken from brine; discard brine. Wipe excess from chicken with paper towels.

Step 4

Lay chicken pieces on a barbecue grill over medium coals or medium heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 4 to 5 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning frequently, until browned on both sides and no longer pink at the bone (cut to test), 20 to 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Chef's Notes

Brine the chicken up to 1 day before grilling; grill up to 1 day before serving (chill airtight). Transport in brine when grilling on-site. Keep the meat well chilled in an ice chest until ready to serve or grill.

Ratings & Reviews

JamesMH53's Review

July 15, 2014
Easy to prep, grills up nicely, the gang loved it. Highly recommended.

katiegroh's Review

November 03, 2013
I had high hopes for this recipe but the chicken was absolutely flavorless - it was moist but flavorless

ebelle's Review

June 23, 2013
Very moist. Used 1/2 recipe for 3 large half chicken breasts (1.75 lbs). After marinating, drained and dredged beasts in flour/ground flax mixture. Browned in heated skillet and baked for 25-30 minutes at 350.

Cheri77's Review

June 18, 2012

osequin's Review

June 14, 2012
I halved the recipe for the brine and used 2lbs boneless skinless breasts. They were so tender and had a very nice flavor. Will definitely make again. Very good for summer cookouts. I marinated them for four hours but recommend doing them a little longer to get even more flavor.

Hilarys1332's Review

May 15, 2012
I have made this several times most recently for Mother's Day luncheon. I always marinate over night and use good quality organic chicken. This recipe gets rave reviews and there are never leftovers. Good served warm or chilled for a picnic.

CatheMartin's Review

August 09, 2011
I love this recipe, and so do my kids! Tender and flavorful. I did cut the salt down a bit.

WendyBee's Review

July 25, 2011
I have always marinated this overnight and gotten great flavor and rave reviews from my guests. It's extremely easy to make, especially for a large group.

kmills554's Review

June 23, 2011
Not alot of flavor. Just tasted like plain grilled chicken, but still good.

AngelaT's Review

June 16, 2011
I used this recipe to marinate boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a Birthday party for my son. It was easy because I was able to trim the chicken and put into this, simple to make, marinade the night before the party. The day of the party all I had to do was put it on the grill. I received so many compliments on how juicy and tender the chicken was and it paired up well with all of the side dishes I had made. This is a great recipe and simple to make!